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July 18, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-18

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OPINION

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCV, No. 33-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Do it right
MANY STUDENTS are frustrated by the University's
apparent lack of action on the sexual assault crisis
center. But one must begin to accept that from an in-
stitution of this size. The University will not institute a
program of this magnitude and importance with a simple
stroke of the pen. Students have to remember that they're
working with the bureaucracy of the University. It's sort of
like a supertanker, and we all know that supertankers do
not change direction very fast.
Granted, the University did take too much time to get
the ball rolling and it was only after considerable pressure
from the outside. Many "peer" institutions have programs
that have been operating for several years.
The need for a sexual assault crisis center has been
shown time and again. The University does need some
type of coordination of all of the different services
available and a way to serve needs that are not being filled
now.
Students are encouraged to continue to press the ad-
ministration for action because the administration does
tend to forget or sometimes give the proposal a lower
priority than students would like.
But there is no sense in demanding the University hire a
coordinator right now because by doing that we might be
cheating ourselves out of a good coordinator.
Plus, once the coordinator is hired, it will take time for
the program to run smoothly. People should not expect a
miracle to happen in September.
It is important to have this center, but it should be done
right. To do it right will take time.
Letters to the Daily should be typed,
triple-spaced, and signed by the in-
dividual authors. Names will be withheld
only -in unusual circumstances. Letters
may be edited for clarity, grammar, and
spelling.

Thursday, July 18, 1985 Page 5
SEE THAT YOU M91K4T YEAHI-, IJT
A COPY OF THE MA- LOVE GEITING
DCWNA NUM\ES... THE INSIDE STORY YOU OUGHT TO
ON PEOPLE IN LOVE ThiS!
THE NATIONAL
SPOTLIGHT.
pt et S1W I LY ~ fI
Independent producers need money
As government support shrinks, stations must rely
By Fenton Johnson more and more on other contributors d-nd are increasingly
reluctant to air work which might offend them. The CPB
Public medis will probably survive the Resgan ers - board, appointed by the president, now takes a dim view
despite the administration's vehement opposition, Con- of government support of any media production - and
gressional leaders from both parties have staunchly sup- especially any critical of U.S. business or government
ported it. But the independent producers who gsve it eplciy. syciis fUS bsns rgvrmn
muteot its flair and originality are now an endangered In its last round of funding open to independents, CPB
species. awarded substantial support to co-productions with the
As film and broadcast-quality video have grown in- Disney Channel and to "Hepburn on Tracy" - both items
creasingly expensive, their use for documentary purposes whose "non-commercial" status is at least open to
has been limited more and more to those who can afford question. The CPB-supported Independent Documentary
the means of production - Media conglomerates, large Fund - which provided a major grant for "The Times of
corporations, and the government and those it chooses to Harvey Milk," this year's Oscar-winning documentary -
support. is now defunct, the victim of funding cuts, while "Live
THAT IS a key reason why in 1978, and again in 1984, from Lincoln Center" lives on.
legislators specified that a "substantial" portion of the INDEPENDENT producers have grown increasingly
program funds administered by the Corporation for apprehensive as the system rejects their work, or
Public Broadcasting, CPB, should go to independent relegates it to obscure time slots, while filling prime time
producers. In the legislation creating these resources, with "safe" programming. Many are abandoning
Congress acknowledged that producers independent of documentary production altogether. Others have respon-
corporate and government influence must be included if ded by forming their own political caucus, which has
non-mainstream views are to be fairly represented. pressured Congress to hold oversight hearings'on public
Though never large, this pool of funds has provided ac- broadcasting. At a recent conference of independent
cess for diverse, minority, and occasionally controversial documentary makers, Peter Adair, a leader in the field,
views to the enormous power of mass media. stated flatly his intention to "abandon working within the
These may be among the most cost-effective of all system," the audience and panel response was not sur-
government expenditures. CPB and related agencies vir- prise or dismay but something close to weary resignation.
tually never provide 100 percent support. Independents Viewers have settled into the complacent assumption
typically spend far more than half their time raising funds that public television will allow controversial, non-
from other sources. Those whose work is screened on the mainstream, independent points of view at least a
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) are seldom paid moment or airtime. Recent events give cause to wonder
acquisition fees - indeed, PBS frequently requires them how much longer that will be true - or even if it has
to finance the costs of presenting their programs to the already changed.
system.
ONLY THE most fiercely idealistic producers were Johnson is editor of Relief Print, a newsletter of
ever willing to work under these conditions, and now the independent film and video makes on the west coast.
situation is deteriorating. He wrote this for Pacific News Service.
BLOOM COUNTY by Berke Breathed

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